Posts Tagged ‘space’

As I said in yesterday’s post, being bored is impossible when you enjoy history and genealogy! You always have places to go, photos to take, research to complete, and stacks of paperwork to sort through. So hearing people say they’re bored during this time of social distancing sounds rather alien; some of us are finding more to do than ever.

After finally catching up on email in the wee hours of the morning, I realized just how many online learning opportunities there are right now. In particular, many museums and historical collections are putting the word out about the resources they have online. Here are just some of the many free gateways to personal enrichment available.

The Smithsonian Institution, Ten Museums You Can Virtually Visit. This article includes links to The Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea, The Anne Frank House, The Vatican Museums, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The London National Gallery, NASA Research Centers, The National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, San Francisco’s De Young Museum, and The Louvre.

The National Nordic Museum here in Seattle has digitized Nordic American oral histories and an online collections portal that could keep you busy for days. I still miss the old building and the old name, but their relocation and relabeling has renewed their outreach power.

Our beloved local HistoryLink is an online encyclopedia of Washington State History. They have thousands of essays, fun slide shows, a roster of Washingtonians who gave their lives in service for our country, resources for schools, and how-tos for self-guided walking tours. Their weekly newsletter is a great way to get to know the area.

HistoryLink featured Washington State University’s Early Washington Maps collection this week (go Cougs!). From that page you can find your way down other rabbit holes, such as the amazing WSU Manuscripts, Archives & Special Collections page, the United States Geological Survey Topos Index, and the University of Washington Digital Collections site.

D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition mentioned that Travel + Leisure posted Stuck at Home? These 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch. This article lists links to the British Museum in London, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea, the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the MASP in São Paulo, and the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.

You can get lost in the British Library Medieval Manuscripts Blog. It’s not just the language but the art that draws you in. The Digital Collections of Trinity College Library in Dublin are also a gold mine of art and literature.

Seattle’s Burke Museum is promoting Burke from Home. There are activities for kids, virtual exhibits, and extensive information about local flora and fauna. I love their pages on animals and am thrilled to see that Rod Crawford has a Spider Myths page on there. People scream when they see spiders, blame them for all manner of skin blemishes, and kill them on sight. Crawford sets the record straight and encourages us to practice respect. As I tell the big gnarly spiders hanging out in the shower sometimes, “you don’t bug me and I won’t bug you.”

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution have more than 30,000 pre-1840 American objects in their collection and many are featured online. They have an online quilt index as well. Now would also be a good time to get in touch with your local Sons or Daughters of the American Revolution chapter to ask for help connecting the dots to your suspected patriots.

Universe Today featured Five Space and Astronomy Activities to do at Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak. You can choose from Re-live Apollo 13 in Real Time, Citizen Science, Astronomy Outdoors, and Read and Listen. Slooh.com, Space.com, and NASA’s interactive Solar System Exploration are also excellent places to sharpen your space skills. There are also a great many space-related videos on YouTube (due to the classes and educational shows on YouTube alone, boredom should not exist). How ’bout some honey in zero-g or the Wired interview with Chris Hadfield that discusses if space smells like burnt steak.

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society is offering free webinars for another 10 days or so. Some free genealogy courses are listed at Lisa Lisson’s site as well. Washington State has the nation’s best Digital Archives at a state level. Start clicking around and enjoy!

The American Battlefield Trust offers virtual tours of Civil War and Revolutionary War battlefields. Seeing King’s Mountain on that site this morning was profound. My ancestor and his four young brothers fought in the Battle of King’s Mountain. One was killed, one was “shot through” but recovered, and my forebear was nearly killed but lived to a very old age.

The Battlefield Trust employs that fascinating 360-degree interactive technology that allows you to explore every nook and cranny of a site. Much closer to home, Seattle Now & Then often does that too. The articles, archives, photography, and other bonuses from Dorpat & Co. are engrossing. From their sidebar you can enter other portals such as the Globe Radio Repertory, where you can listen to dramatized versions of classic literature. That gem is parked on the Internet Archive, which could keep you busy until our sun burns out.

Collective Evolution posted How Your Kids and You Can Learn and Explore the World for Free While Quarantined. This mentions museums, but includes virtual aquariums, opera, symphonies, and world landmarks that you can visit courtesy of the world wide web. I like how they are emphasizing music– today’s kids may think music is a snap track with a scantily clad auto-tuned 20 year-old wailing about her first world problems. There is a whole ocean of actual music out there.

There are undoubtedly many more opportunities to absorb beauty, wonder, and knowledge online. Know of a good website? Please a link in the comments section. With this bottomless pit of information at our fingertips, there’s no excuse for being bored. If we lose the power grid as well, there are these wonderful objects called books which also contain endless enlightenment. Books are easy on the eyes, don’t need batteries, and can go just about anywhere with you.

Now you can’t be bored! Sir Isaac Newton’s Self-Quarantine tells how Newton’s time alone led to some of his most world-changing discoveries. Perhaps you or your kid are the next Newton. There is much more to you than you know. What divinely deposited gifts lie within, veins of talent that have been waiting for a pause in your life to be discovered?

Every difficulty in life presents us with an opportunity to turn inward and to invoke our own submerged inner resources. The trials we endure can and should introduce us to our strengths.


3/23/20: The Smithsonian came out with this mega-list of extreme awesomeness, 68 Cultural, Historical and Scientific Collections You Can Explore Online: Tour world-class museums, read historic cookbooks, browse interactive maps and more.

3/24/20: Did you know this about Shakespeare? Shakespeare and the Plague

©2020 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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The Algonquian are credited with calling this moon, or tibik-kėzis, the Worm Moon. Tonight we were dazzled by the Worm Moon Super Moon, aka the Worm Super Moon.

Even the shots when neighbor doggie with cataracts was getting tangled up in the tripod, which are not very focused, are captivating.

Collective Evolution just posted a piece titled The Moon May Not Be What We Think It Is. We humans still have many questions about the moon and this touches on a few of them. Is the moon hollow? How was it formed? Is it nearer than we think it is? Could astronauts really have survived the Van Allen Belt to get there?

Ultimately, all roads lead to intelligent design. What is on or in or isn’t in the moon remains to be seen.

©2020 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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Both the humans trembled– Merlin because he did not know what was coming, Ransom because he knew. And now it came. It was fiery, sharp, bright and ruthless, ready to kill, ready to die, outspeeding light: it was Charity, not as mortals imagine it, not even as it has been humanised for them since the Incarnation of the Word, but the translunary virtue, fallen upon them direct from the Third Heaven, unmitigated. They were blinded, scorched, deafened. They thought it would burn their bones. They could not bear that it should continue. They could not bear that it should cease. So Perelandra, triumphant among planets, whom men call Venus, came and was with them in the room.

C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength

Jumping from one commitment to another tonight, I struggled through Seattle traffic to try and reach a clear place to watch the heavens at 5:50 P.M. The sun was setting and the planet Venus would be burning brightly next to a crescent moon.

In both of the above shots, you can see a tiny dot to the upper right of the moon. That is Venus, our sister planet, the morning and evening star. Second from the sun, the closest planet to Earth, she spins the opposite direction and has a surface temperature around 863 degrees.

There are many amazing things to know about Venus.

As I hurried along to get to a more open place, I could hardly believe that I was witnessing this. An aircraft was heading right for Venus and the moon! I ran south and took this photo as it passed over Venus.

This aircraft skimmed the top of Venus and sailed like an arrow towards the moon. There was nothing else in the sky when this happened; this was phenomenal.


Threading the moon…

That moment left me in awe. Of all of the places a flying machine could have been in this vast expanse of sky… I was blessed to witness that!

Luna on the left, Pelelandra on the right. What a night.

The color of the sky changed rapidly like an undulating octopus blending into a Kandinsky painting.

One must wonder if someone was standing on the moon waving at Venus.

What cosmological protoplasm is this? In several shots, Venus appeared as a burning sphere of citrine.

Good to see you, neighbors.

Que bella noche…

Venus and Mars are our next of kin: they are the two most Earth-like planets that we know about. They’re the only two other very Earth-like planets in our solar system, meaning they orbit close to the sun; they have rocky surfaces and thin atmospheres.

David Grinspoon

©2020 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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Blood Moon 8-20-16

WOW. I was just coming home from the store and had to stop to take pictures of this gorgeous rising moon. I couldn’t quite get a steady shot, even balancing the camera on a fire hydrant, but you can see why I was in awe.

We aren’t due for another blood moon yet, but this looked more like one than some of the actual lunar eclipses we’ve had recently.

As I was taking photos, a woman walked by and asked if I’d seen the setting sun also. I hadn’t. She said that tonight it, too, was blood red. We wondered if it means something…

(Update: the news said  this was caused by fires on the Olympic Peninsula.)


Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years… -Genesis 1:14


©2016 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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You can watch the September 27th, 2015 blood supermoon live on Slooh.com now (5:00 PDT). You can find out where it’s visible and when to watch it at Space.com (which has all sorts of other tantalizing details as well).

Yes, the moon tonight is:

-The harvest moon: the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox.

-A super moon: the moon is at the closest point in its orbit to the earth– only  221,753 miles away.

-A blood moon: a total lunar eclipse is happening.

This is the fourth blood moon since last year, so the last of a tetrad. You might remember my April 2014 post The Blood Moon Tetrad explaining why this series of astronomical events could be so significant.

The Jewish holiday Sukkot (read its history and meaning here— happy 5776!) begins at sundown tonight, which is 6:57 P.M. here in Seattle. Moonrise is a few minutes before. It will be a full eclipse by 7:07 P.M., so the eclipse will be nearing its peak by the time we see the moon. Thankfully it’s been a beautiful warm day here and it’s unlikely clouds will obstruct our view of this event.

Many are intrigued that this rare astronomical event– the first blood supermoon in 33 years– is happening at the end of a shemitah, a seven-year economic cycle, at a time when both faith-based and secular experts are predicting a huge economic crash. Is it a sign? Should we be ready for a massive shift and for God’s hand in increasingly dark world affairs?

Is He trying to get our attention?

Regardless of what you believe– I do believe we should be paying attention to the heavens (Matthew 24, Luke 21) and asking ourselves what we really stand for– enjoy this phenomenal and gorgeous sight. Hopefully people are recovered enough from the Hawks 26-0 win over the Bears today to lift up their eyes and soak it all in.

The Cuillin from Elgol, Loch Scavaig, The Isle of Skye, Scotland by Scottish Landscape Artist Andy Peutherer

The Cuillin from Elgol, Loch Scavaig, The Isle of Skye, Scotland by Scottish Landscape Artist Andy Peutherer


Update, 9/27/15: Here are some of the many shots of tonight’s supermoon I captured from the Seattle area. The moon was most difficult to photograph when it was red. I played with various settings, and while I didn’t get the series of jaw-dropping photos I wanted, this still provides a realistic walk through the phases of this lunar eclipse. I’m glad to have gotten to see the whole event when many places couldn’t.

It morphed from glaring angry red alien to jovial intergalactic Cheshire Cat to half-orange sherbet, half-vanilla ice cream to brown-tinged cookie somebody took a bite out of, then it became a brilliant beacon. During the eclipse the sky went from a passionate blue to reddish hues near the moon to a deep darkness and then a navy canopy studded with stars. We were blessed with cloudless weather and even saw a meteor. What an exhilarating experience!

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If you don’t have a set of finger lights for festive occasions like this or for when a headlamp or flashlight is just too much, you should. Note the completely full moon at the top. And check out this lantern that looks like the moon on Twisted Sifter. The most amazing home decor item I’ve seen in a while. It brings the wonder of a full moon indoors.

Same Moon


©2015 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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Slooh Solar Eclipse 10-24-14 2

Did you see Friday’s partial solar eclipse? Due to stormy weather here in the Seattle area, we thought we were only going to be able to watch it online until… the clouds briefly parted.

A window opened in the roiling sky so that we were able to see what appeared to be a bottomless black hole slowly swallowing the sun. In reality, the moon was passing between the sun and earth. At the height of the eclipse, about 3:30 P.M. Pacific time, it had clouded back up, but that otherworldly twilight caused by disturbances in the heavens hovered for a bit. The world was bathed in electrified, muted tones of premature grey.

These screen shots came from Slooh.com’s live broadcast of the event. If you don’t know Slooh, a citizen observatory, you should get acquainted. They make it easy for you to become an armchair astronomer and they frequently broadcast live events. You can sign up to receive emails notifying you of celestial events.

Slooh Solar Eclipse 10-24-14 1

Note the Frankenstein-looking scars and pockmarks on the sun. The planet Jupiter could fit in the area of sunspot activity in the center. Jupiter, to put this in perspective, is as large as 1000 Earths. Giant sunspot AR2192 is the largest sunspot astronomers have witnessed in almost a quarter century. Those fissures on the sun are solar filaments, which can be hundreds of thousands of miles long. They’re basically pockets of dense, cool gas held in place by magnetic fields.

The sun has been particularly active this week, hurling both M- and X-class solar flares at our planet. You can get updates about what the sun is doing and how it affects Earth from sites like Spaceweather.com, Space.com, NASA.gov, and the Discovery News site. Spaceweather.com offers text and voice alerts so that you know what’s going on in the sky. Discovery has a great article on their front page right now, Powerful X-Class Solar Flares Hit Earth, Cause Radio Blackouts.

Jesus said to keep an eye on the heavens because it will contain signs of what’s to come. Witnessing Friday’s eclipse and the monstrous activity on Sol Solis, G-type main-sequence (G2V) yellow dwarf, reminds me just how awesome the Creator is and how unlimited His power. No matter what’s going on, He is in control.

It also reminds me of the deliciously mad genius of Lewis Carroll…

Slooh Solar Eclipse 10-24-14 3

Cheshire Cat Grin


There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. -Luke 21:25


©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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